In the hallowed halls of Skywalker Ranch, in an ornately decorated theater that looked like it was made for Hollywood’s elite from the 1920s, Gareth Edwards unveiled 28 glorious minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” … and then it starts. I don’t want to go into any spoilers, but what we saw appeared to be the first five minutes and then about 15 minutes of sequences from the first act with missing pieces. At the end, a sizzle reel of the action that follows left me begging for more. While I will avoid spoilers, I will give you my initial fan reactions.
First of all, although this is not part of the episodic saga, it doesn’t feel far removed. From Storm Troopers to cameos by some obscure characters from A New Hope, this certainly feels like Star Wars. And not just Star Wars, but original trilogy Star Wars — the pre-Special Edition versions, even. In other words, the nostalgia factor couldn’t be stronger.
Secondly, there has been some early criticism about John Williams not doing the score. However, Giaccino has written some amazing and memorable music for Rogue One. And while Williams may not have written new music for this film, a couple of his melodies were used in the preview I saw.
Lastly, this film feels more like a real war than any of the past ones. But it’s still Star Wars. There’s still humor, one-liners, and guns that go “pew pew.” The opening crawl may be missing, but this is the franchise addition you’ve been looking for.
I walked away from the preview more excited than I thought possible. I may just be high on childhood nostalgia, but I think Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is shaping up to be a better film than The Force Awakens was — and I’m a fan of The Force Awakens, so that is definitely saying something.